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Local contract LCD TV makers suffer in '13

TAIPEI -- Taiwanese contract LCD TV makers saw shipments for 2013 falling more than 5 percent from 2012 in reflection of weakening global demand in a slow economy, according to a research report released Wednesday.

In the report, WitsView, a research division at Taiwan-based market information advisory firm TrendForce Corp., said that shipments of local contract LCD TV assemblers for last year fell 5.4 percent from a year earlier to 35.85 million units.

Among the Taiwanese contract makers, only TPV Group and Hon Hai Group enjoyed year-on-year increases of 5.2 percent and 19.2 percent, respectively, in their 2103 shipments, according to the report.

Shipments of TPV totaled 14.7 million units, making the company the largest contract LCD TV manufacturer in Taiwan, followed by 8.1 million units shipped by Hon Hai, the report shows.

WitsView said that impacted by the economic weakness, international brands turned cautious about the market outlook, cutting their orders to contract TV makers, a move that dragged down shipments for the whole of 2013.

In the fourth quarter of last year, shipments of Taiwanese contract LCD TV manufacturers rose 17.5 percent from the third quarter to 10.28 million units in reflection of the peak-season effect, but the October-December figure still fell 6.4 percent from the same period of last year, the research group said.

In the first quarter of this year — a traditional slow season for the TV industry — shipments of contract flat panel TV makers are expected to fall 23-25 percent from the previous quarter.

For the entire 2014, WitViews said, shipments of Taiwan-assembled LCD TVs are expected to range between 36 million and 39 million units compared with 2013's 35.85 million units, as the global economy is on the road to recovery.

Local contract LCD TV makers have appeared more upbeat, expecting shipments for 2014 to hit about 46.1 million units, according to WitsView.

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